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It seems to be 汗のない社会は堕落だ, which is a variation on 「愛なき人生は暗黒なり。汗なき社会は堕落なり。」Google tells me this is a quote from 前田又兵衛. Something like "A life without love is darkness. A society without effort is corruption."


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I'm not finding anything at the level one could cite in a paper after a brief search in Japanese, but three different sources (Japanese Wikipedia, NHK Kids show, and Japanese version of yahoo answers) agree that the original was written in a mix of kana and kanji. The "yahoo answers" answerer points out that there is no copy of the original.


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As Snailboat mentioned in her comment, gogen-allguide.com has a good explanation for said etymologies. Although, I should caution against analyzing Chinese moraically; Chinese is a syllabic language. While 馬{うま} and 梅{うめ} are etymologically borrowings from Chinese, they predate any of the three major 音読み classifications (ie, 呉音、漢音、唐音), and are thus ...


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My understanding is that until the Meiji era, through the early 1900's, foreign words were most often written in kanji. Perhaps the sudden exposure to foreign cultures and the rise of the merchant class and marketing led to it's emergence as the definitive way to write foreign non-Chinese words. As the script was imported centuries ago, it is possible that ...



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